Fantasy "Enchanted" leads ailing U.S. box office
By Dean Goodman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co family fantasy "Enchanted" enjoyed another fairy-tale weekend at the North American box office on Sunday, but overall sales succumbed to the traditional post-Thanksgiving blues.
"Enchanted," starring Amy Adams as a cartoon princess who comes to life on the mean streets of Manhattan, sold about $17 million in tickets during the three-day period beginning Friday, leading the field for a second weekend.
Since launching on November 21 to the second-biggest Thanksgiving weekend opening ever with $49 million, "Enchanted" has earned $70.6 million. The film will "glide over" $100 million, said Disney distribution president Chuck Viane, who expected it would hold up well during the holiday period.
Only one film opened in the top 10. "Awake," a romantic thriller starring Hayden Christensen as a Wall Street banker who is conscious during heart surgery, flatlined at No. 4 with $6 million. Industry observers had expected it to crack $10 million. "Awake" was released by closely held studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc under a deal with independent movie producer the Weinstein Co.
Overall year-on-year sales slipped for the fourth consecutive weekend, said tracking firm Media By Numbers. The top 12 films earned $76.6 million, down 5.75 percent from the same time last year, and down 49 percent from last weekend. Last year, the post-Thanksgiving drop was 45 percent.
The black-themed comedy "This Christmas," about a family's first holiday reunion in four years, held steady at No. 2 with $8.4 million in its second weekend. It has unwrapped $37 million after 12 days and should reach $60 million, said its distributor, Sony Corp's Screen Gems. The film cost about $13 million to make.
Former champion "Beowulf" was unchanged at No. 3 with $7.9 million. After three weeks, director Robert Zemeckis' effects-laden adaptation of the old English warrior poem has earned $68.6 million -- less than the $71 million earned by the similarly-themed "300" during its first three days in March. Continued...